I've seen in several occasions many people using the comparative adjective "madder".

Like in saying "I'm mad at him. But if he didn't ask I'll be even madder."

This "madder" just doesn't sound correct to my ears .. so what do you think?

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    In English writing, there are no spaces between the innermost quotation marks and the contents they quote.
    – Jasper
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 17:05
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    @Jasper your edit makes sense, but, more to Maldini than you, there can be leading or trailing spaces in quotes. They would need to be relevant to what is being quoted, though. Since they seldom are, "don't do it" is a good general rule. A counter-example would be: Did he type " red" or "red"?
    – RichF
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 17:31
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    @RichF Tha'ts highly contrived and, frankly, any time you're relying on typesetting, your message is likely to be unclear. "Did he type 'red' with a space before it or with no space?" Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 20:11
  • @DavidRicherby absolutely correct; it is highly contrived. It took me over a minute to think of the example. ... and yet you understood perfectly. 😌 But dammit, now I feel obligated to somewhat , um, decontriviate it, providing a context. You are in a PM conversation with a friend who is learning to program. He is currently focusing on concatenating strings. The final sentence the short program returns is, "The car isred." I ask him if, when he input the color, did he type "red" or " red". I'm not saying there aren't better ways -- just that it can, very occasionally, be done meaningfully.
    – RichF
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


It sounds fine to me. You aren't the only one to doubt the word, though. See: Twitter Users Call Out President Obama Because “Madder” Isn’t a Word, Except That it Is.

This might be a relative cultural thing, based on where you grow up. An example of what I mean is people pronouncing ask as if it were aks (or, what I hear, axe). It sounds totally ignorant to my ears, but apparently in parts of the American Northeast the usage is quite common even among well-educated people.

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    I think Americans tend to get a bit obsessed with how their president[-elect]s use the English language. I can't believe how many twitterers seem to take Trump's use of bigly as prima facie evidence that the guy's a complete idiot. And they say Brits are overly "class-conscious"! Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 17:10

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